Is a metal roof loud during heavy rain or hail?
It’s natural for a homeowner to ask “is a metal roof loud when it rains or hails?” Our answer is that they really aren’t any noisier than asphalt shingle roofing.
It may seem surprising. But the confusion lies within the construction of the roof. When the roof assembly, which consists of everything above and below the trusses, like decking (sheets of plywood or OSB), insulation, and underlayments (ice & water shield, moisture barrier, etc) match that of a shingle roof, the noise level is no different. But it’s no wonder folks miss this small differentiator.
Noise Levels without Underlayment
If you’ve ever been in a metal pole building, barn, or garage with a metal roof that didn’t have a plywood deck and insulation under it, it’s pretty easy to listen to the loud noise caused by rain and hail. In fact, rain can sound like a downpour inside the building, when in actuality, it’s only a light shower. This is a case where where you’ll find a metal roof loud during heavy precipitation.
Without the roof deck, insulation, and underlayment, the metal panels can actually intensify the sound, and even echo throughout the building, if it is large. However, noise levels are the same regardless of exterior surface when the interior components are properly installed.
Recovering a Shingle Roof and Noise Levels
Some installers place steel roofing directly over asphalt shingle roofing. If installed correctly, this indeed will provide an additional barrier for noise levels. Of course, the steel roofing system is also able to be installed in replacement of shingles, or as with new construction, designed to have a maximum sound proof barrier.
Regardless of whether you have shingle or metal roofing, adding insulation to the attic space will certainly benefit you in energy savings, keeping your indoor climate more comfortable and quieter.
So… getting back to the original question, “is a metal roof loud during heavy rain or hail?” Our answer is no, on a typical residential home. If it’s installed with all of the correct components, you won’t notice a difference.
An additional source of information about metal roofing is the Metal Roofing Alliance.